The petition to allow Tesla to sell directly to consumers without having to go through dealer associations has collected more than 100,000 signatures! Did you sign?
This is great news, but will it accomplish anything? Even if the White House does try to do something about what over 100,000 of its citizens request, it’s not necessary for state and local governments to comply. I sincerely hope they do.
In a nutshell, Tesla intends to offer vehicle sales in its own corporately-owned stores—similar in fashion to how Apple does—and the National Automobile Dealer Association is attempting to stop this.
How I see it: Dealer associations take a cut of the profits for managing a dealer network for a manufacturer who does not otherwise have a means of selling to customers. Tesla Motors would prefer not to deal with them. Obviously, the NADA would prefer Tesla sell through them as they stand to profit without producing anything or doing very much work at all.
To explain, Apple sells their products online and in their own corporate stores, but Walmart, Best Buy, and other retailers sell their items as well. In this scenario, those retailers are like dealerships, but imagine there is also another group (between manufacturer and retailer) that organizes product pricing and distribution to those retailers as well as demands financial assistance to advertise those goods nationally and in their specific geographic locations. This group would also demand additional financial rewards to support sales of specific models, and would negotiate perks for its high-level employees by leveraging other manufacturers’ terms.
Completely personal opinion: This practice is just one more reason why cars are not as affordable as they should be and basically the primary driving force of an unpleasant buying and ownership experience. It’s unnecessary, outdated, is essentially racketeering, and should be considered unlawful.
If you’d like to know specifically what the petition is requesting and/or would like to sign, the petition is located here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/allow-tesla-motors-sell-directly-consumers-all-50-states/bFN7NHQR
For more on how Tesla wants to run its business, check out this straightforward explanation: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/tesla-approach-distributing-and-servicing-cars
If you can’t believe legitimate business men would take a cut of every car sold in America and insist on more, take a look for yourself: http://www.nada.org/
[Images property and copyright Tesla Motors]